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February 12, 2007

Here’s a topic that I hope will generate a week or two worth of discussion.  The ethos of our congregation is so non-denominational that some of our members may not even know we belong to a denomination.  We do.  It’s called the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA) and we are in a process of “refreshing” our Statement of Faith (SOF).

Here is the current SOF. 

Here is the latest draft of the new proposal. 

That’s a lot of reading, so that’s all for today.  The most contested issue is whether or not we should drop the word “premillenial” from the SOF.   Tomorrow I’ll post on premillenialism, and then the next day on why I think we should go ahead and remove the word from the SOF.   Then we’ll go through the new document point by point and see if you have questions and comments.  

7 Comments leave one →
  1. February 12, 2007 9:53 pm

    I am glad to see the shift in thinking- not wanting to divide the Body on the millenial question. A very interesting possibility. That issue was one that kept me from doing a Ph.D. at TEDS when I was thinking of a Ph.D. I’ll have to keep my eye on this.

  2. February 12, 2007 10:34 pm

    Yeah, I agree about not dividing over the millenial question. But that doesn’t mean I’m not a diehard (non-dispensational) premillenialist. Tomorrow I post the argument before which all amillenialists helplessly shrink… :-)

    BTW, Where’d you do your M.Div.? And also BTW, you could have got a Ph.D. at TEDS without being pre-mil. You just can’t be ordained in the EFCA (this year) without being pre-mil.

  3. February 13, 2007 12:02 pm

    I went to RTS Orlando. While looking at seminaries, I think I ruled out TEDS at the time since I wanted to escape the cold of New England. Can’t quite do that outside of Chicago!

    I checked out an EFree church plant when I got to Orlando. I’d read an article in Discipleship Journal the pastor had written. I think it blew apart shortly after my visit (the 2 are not connected).

    At the time I was considering a PhD, I was under the assumption that you had to sign off on the doctrinal statement to get a degree from TEDS. Perhaps I was wrong.

    Premil….. been there, done that (both varieties) :-) You don’t meet many historical premil people these days. I’m not sure how James Boice held to it in light of the WCF, though he might have taken it as an exception.

  4. February 14, 2007 12:16 pm

    What do you think of #10 in the new proposal – “God commands everyone everywhere to believe the gospel”?

  5. February 14, 2007 12:46 pm

    I think it’s fantabulous! Indeed he does command everyone everywhere to believe the gospel. I look forward to getting into that in more detail in future posts when I plan to go through it point by point.

  6. February 14, 2007 1:41 pm

    Fantabulous. Ha. Maybe I should just wait until you post more about it, but what about all the pairs of opposites – sheep/goats, vessels of mercy/vessels of destruction, elect/non-elect? How could he command everyone everwhere to believe, and simultaneously foreknow and predestine only certain people as believers? Does it maybe mean that everyone everywhere dead and living will believe on judgement day?

  7. February 14, 2007 5:24 pm

    When we say God “commands” everyone to believe, that doesn’t mean he “decrees” everyone to believe. He commands all, but all disobey that command until he graciously opens the hearts of the elect to believe.

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